Ruth Van Beek

Ruth Van Beek

Work from her oeuvre.

Ruth Van Beek or the Poetics of Paper Weights
Ruth Van Beek’s collages play a particularly clever and intricate game of hide and seek with the truth of an image. ‘The result is a picture of something that never existed,’ she explains on her website. Ruth Van Beek was born in 1977 and graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2002, and I believe her work belongs to a new tradition of collage art. The clash of worlds, of technology and human nature, that sparked the great surrealist tradition has now been internalised into a new, more controlled and intimate form. No more rockets or planes, no more vacuum-cleaners, no more explosions (except flat explosions of colour). We are dealing here with a clash of inner realities, or the clash between inner and outer realms.

We have swallowed the scissors. They’re now inside each and every one of us, cutting reality up and reassembling it. To us, collage has become as natural as breathing. Let me explain this through an example. What happens to us when we visit a museum? As we wander through the galleries the pictures drift by, some of their details lingering in our minds, growing, superimposing themselves onto others, gathering in corners, de- and then re-contextualising themselves, slipping into other pictures, into memories, narratives, movies, who knows… We head down to the cafe and open a newspaper or a magazine, the images from the museum getting mixed in with those we’re leafing through, so that by the time we’ve left the museum (having stopped by the shop to browse through yet more images and maybe even buy a few postcards) the experience has transformed itself in our minds into a completely new entity, something akin to a collage, or a number of collages. The same process continues as we head home past advertising posters, or sit down at our computers, or simply turn the television on. Our brains are constantly cutting and reassembling, trying to make sense of a visually saturated and conceptually fragmented reality.” - Marc Valli for Foam Magazine

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